Tag Archives: True-Scale

Not Quite Apocalyptic

I have been following Imperial Rebel Ork’s post-apocalyptic tree house  (yes really!) with some interest. So as the UK virus apocalypse is not quite as exciting, and needs fewer handguns, I thought that it was time for Shed du Soleil to get an upgrade.

Essentially, this is just a long-winded way of saying that I have extended the veranda canopy by a couple of feet, and run a cloister along the side of the wall. It is a proper cloister, with spandrels and a tension half-hammer beam that is only possible due to the lightweight polycarbonate roof, and which is there to provide stiffening under tension if wind tries to get under the roof and lift it off.

As usual, cowboybuilders.co.uk did the job by moonlight, with their wobbly ladders. A neighbour was throwing a front door away, so it went down to the Tank Shed (Shed 24). I’m in the process of moving the French doors to the front of the sitting out area to make it weathertight. The hobbit next to the shed is under scale aged about 7. With true-scale modelling, your bits box just takes up more space and the figures won’t stand still to be photographed.


Filed under Off Topic, Shed du Soleil

The New Parade Square


Summer is here, Blogs languish, but fear not, some epic true-scale modelling has been going on. The Kemp Collection now boasts a Grand Terrace and Bastion, which collectively form the new Parade Square¹!

Technical details and step-by-step building guide for true scale modellers:

  1. Dig stuff out for the foundations. The old dry sand foundation for the existing slabs was left in place.
Digging out Stuff.

Digging out Stuff.

2. Put stuff in to stop the new slabs from sinking into the swamp. I used graded (hardcore) fill, which the drone behind the counter at Travis Perkins told me he had never heard of. When I explained it was for a patio sub-base he told me that I wanted MOT. He went a bit red when I asked him what MOT³ stood for and told me what hardcore was used for instead. Back at Gound Zero, I found Nobby the Newt hiding under a brick. He was stalking a particularly juicy slug as big as his head.

Nobby the Newt doesn't know what MOT Type 1 stands for either

Nobby the Newt doesn’t know what MOT Type 1 stands for either

3. Lay the interlocking dry block retaining wall for the bastion, filling the back in with earth on the lawn side and sand on the bastion side. I used builder’s sand instead of sharp sand as the base. It will settle over summer, then I can go back in autumn and relevel the slabs with a dry sand mix (cement and sand) without having to worry about cracking in this unusually dry summer that we are having.



Scarpe and Counterscarpe

Scarpe and Counterscarpe



4. Build a French Drain (basically a hole full of sand or gravel) for the runoff from the roof of The Den to soak into. This avoids the water running over the slabs onto the lawn, which has been my ‘temporary’ solution for the last 18 years.


Downpipe and Runoff Pipe in Trench

Downpipe and Runoff Pipe in Trench

French Drain

French Drain

  1. Chuck the slabs down. They will be lined up properly in autumn when the slabs are finally set.
Grand Terrace and Saluting Dias

Grand Terrace and Saluting Dias

  1. Sit out and drink a well earned beer. Organise a victory parade.
The Bastion and Glacis

Bastion and Glacis

Summer is also the time when readers are inflicted with holiday snaps. No worries here either; we continued our tour of unfashionable cities by visiting the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, where we accidentally visited the National Bonsai Collection². Normal service will be resumed when we go back to a proper, miserably wet British summer.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Posh Pond.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Posh Pond.

  1. It isn’t square, or grand, unless you are 1:100 scale, in which case it is truly epic.

2. The collection is valuable enough to be displayed behind bars, with CCTV in constant attendance. Forget the Crown Jewels, this is the real thing! We didn’t know it was there, but happily, discovered it on the way out with more than 30 minutes to spare.

3. It refers to the Ministry of Transport Type 1 British Standard for loadbearing graded aggregates made from crushed recycled concrete rubble or limestone to be used in highway engineering. Seriously though, normal people don’t care unless this happens (watch from1:15).


Filed under Off Topic

Shed Life – the Workshop


True-scale models with terrain ready for the Eastern Front

More true-scale modelling has been filling the absence of blogging, turning the garage into a workshop, with cupboards ripped out of the kitchen finding a new home.

It’s all a bit scrappy at this stage – but the walls are insulated, and power is in

Fascinating as it may be for Shedaholics, I don’t propose to burden readers with endless work in progress shots – just edited highlights. The stuff in the picture above is all boot-fitting or repairing kit from the old shop. I found a heap of certificates that we used to display on the shop walls. They can stay there until I find some military-themed pictures to put in them.

Not a cupboard!

The deal here was that the Workshop would not be as nice as the Den, so I am allowed to spill stuff on the floor and wander in wearing my shoes!  That doesn’t mean that I can’t put blinds and curtains up though. Just painting everything white increased the ambient light levels to figure-painting standards.

Still not a cupboard!

Ok, so just a couple of pictures of some of the kitchen cupboards. They swallowed huge amounts of junk that would otherwise have attracted dust on the shelves.

Look at all that lovely wall space!


The old Tegometal shop shelves are retreating in the face of a relentless wave of re-purposed Swedish invaders. There is still a lot of work to do, not least being a heater, once the gaps in the new ceiling are sealed up.


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Filed under Off Topic, The Workshop

True Scale Space Hulk

Terminators Looking for Trouble

Apparently, Space Hulk is amongst the evil empire’s best-selling games. The attraction is clear; heavily armoured Terminators clunking down claustrophobic corridors, using their chainswords to cut through bulkheads. Why, it was even popular with the WHELKS* when we were all in our thirties. Terminators were smaller in those days and could fit into corridors without getting stuck in the doors.

So, one frosty morning, I thought that I would give it a go in true-scale ….

There is only one man to go to in Wellingborough for over-engineered power tools , and he is known as Sarge. Suzanne came back saying,

“Can you lift it out of the boot for me? It’s too heavy.”

This Looks Promising!

Outstanding! This sounded promising….

...Gratifyingly large quantites of Toxic Fumes and Dust

It took me ten minutes to start the two-stroke engine, and an hour to cut through the bulkhead. Gratifyingly large quantities of toxic fumes and dust billowed everywhere. It was VERY NOISY! By the time I had finished, the garden was covered in a thin layer of brick coloured space-dust, and any gribblies lurking in the hulk must have fled in terror at the noise. Best game ever!

This dude ….

Approved WH40K Pose

…should not be confused with this one below. (Note the puny arms and freakishly long torso of the sculpt above).

This Dude

Uniform afficionados will note the safety glasses and armoured boiler suit. I have swapped out my customary builder’s cowboy hat for a Teeside-pattern safety helmet.

Mission accomplished:

Mission Accomplished

As an antidote to all the fun that I had just had, Suzanne gave me a window to block the new hole. Happily, it fitted.

It Fits!

If you want to know what a Golden Demon quality true-scale Chainsword looks like, then go here.

*Wellingborough Historical and Ever-so Loosely Kultural Society

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Filed under Off Topic, The Den